Can't Respect What You Can't Name

Today, as I was heading out of the house to see some of my favorite doctors, I noticed this fly on some of the vegetation along our walkup. Didn't recognize it, took a few photos, got on my way.

When I got home and loaded it into, I learned it was likely a Narcissus Bulb Fly (Merodon equestris). I looked to see if I had ever seen one before, as it did not look familiar. I learned that I had indeed see one, ONCE before, on the very first day I ever used iNat, on June 8th, 2016. That day I helped Pete Leki and the folks at Waters Elementary, where my kids did some of their elementary education, to do a bio blitz on the Waters School campus grounds.

I had never heard of a Narcissus Bulb Fly before that day. That day it was just a fly. An interesting looking fly. I had also never heard of iNaturalist, and wasn't sure I even wanted to learn how to use it. HA! Turns out, this fly was the 28th iNat observation I ever made. Flash forward 5 years (and three days) and I see the second Narcissus Bulb Fly I have ever seen. It was iNat observation 22,026. Still didn't know what it was when I saw it today. I did know how to find out what it was this time.

In the 5 years between these two Narcissus Bulb Fly observations, I have made 22,000 additional iNat observations of 4110 other species of living things. That comes to about 12 observations a day for the 1829 days I have been an iNat user. For the last 898 straight days, I have made at least one iNat observation a day as I try to learn the world of living things that share Spaceship Earth with us. Can't respect something you can't name. Isn't that why they chant "Say his name?"

I digress.

Really, that is about it. I found it rather amusing that today I saw my second ever Narcissus Bulb Fly, a bug I only ever saw once before, and that on the first day I ever used iNat. How interesting that that was almost exactly 5 years ago today. In the interim I have made 22,000 additional iNat observations.

I thought this was pretty cool.

Derek likes to say to me that making iNat observations is my compulsion. Or is it my obsession? My addiction? Could be worse I guess. At least those observations will help with the citizen science that iNat empowers. And really, I think of it as my classroom. My text book. My teacher. I think of what I knew about our natural world 5 years ago, I think about what I know now. HA!

I think Spaceship Earth would be a better place for humans and the organisms who share this ride around the sun with us on this 3rd rock from the sun, if everyone made one iNat observation a day to learn what else travels with them on these annual rides around our sun.

Really, I do.

Can't respect what you can't name.

Posted by skrentnyjeff skrentnyjeff, June 12, 2021 03:06


Photos / Sounds


Narcissus Bulb Fly (Merodon equestris)




June 11, 2021 12:25 PM CDT


Because of your influence, I'm addicted to this site, too, and I share your view about being able to name things. I just reread Pyle's book about watching butterflies, and he discusses people who just want to appreciate what they see, almost to the point that they don't want to know the name. But how can you learn about or discuss something without knowing naming it? By the way, you have certainly set a high benchmark for submitting to this site! Keep it up!

Posted by johncebula about 1 year ago (Flag)

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